Military service fosters leadership, organisational skills, resilience and many other unique qualities which are a great asset to the private sector.
With rising employment levels, companies must compete harder to find qualified candidates. A growing number of employers are targeting veterans to fill their skills gap as they represent a ready-made source of top talent which businesses can tap into with the right recruitment process.
- With over 200 trades in the Army alone, many veterans are trained and experienced in a range of technical roles, including engineering, project management, HR, policing, transport, logistics, IT and communications – all transferable to the civilian workplace.
- Organisations that employ veterans report that they exhibit much needed cross-functional skills, notably team-working, motivating others, powers of communication, problem-solving, organisational skills and strategic thinking.
- Veterans have excellent leadership skills, with increasing responsibilities placed on them as they progress through the ranks.
- Veterans bring valuable attitudes and behaviours to the commercial workforce, such as loyalty, mission focus, willingness to accept responsibility, strong work ethic, resilience and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.
- They are accustomed to working in highly pressurised environments and know how to act decisively and calmly. They are also known for their adaptability, a skill gained from experience of working across geographies and diverse environments.
- Military personnel are constantly learning and training throughout their career, employers report that these same individuals remain very trainable and capable of learning new skills in the private sector.
- Many employers report increased loyalty and engagement amongst their ex-military employees. In a survey of 50 employers carried out by Deloitte, 76% of employers said that veterans tend to have lower rates of sickness absence when compared to their non-veteran workforce and are likely to be promoted more quickly. 40% also said veterans stay for longer.
- As one of the largest employers of veterans in the UK, BT has been able to track the performance of their veterans. According to Mark Arscott, Head of Military Engagement, veterans applying to eld engineering roles at BT’s Openreach division have a 60% pass rate compared to 50% for non-veterans. He has shown that the company’s veteran employees have a higher retention rate, lower sick absence rates and fewer early leavers due to performance or discipline issues, and that there is potential for significant productivity gains in the first six months of an employee’s service due to some veterans taking less time to achieve full competence.
- A survey of 100 employers carried out by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) showed that 74% of employers wish to publicly support the Armed Forces.
- Many described their pledges as ‘the right thing to do’ that reflect favourably on public perceptions of their company.
- Employers that make a particular effort to hire disadvantaged military jobseekers will help to reduce the cost of unemployment for wider society.
- Recruiting veterans also reflects the social responsibility of an employer and builds goodwill with the military community, customers and employees.
- Recent research strongly suggests the skills which many veterans possess are a close match for skill shortages that employers face today. Data from The Royal British Legion showed evidence of an overlap between the areas of highest skill shortages and roles within the Armed Forces, including chefs (16% of all Skilled Trades skill-shortage vacancies) Metal Working Production and Electricians (13%).
- Survey data from Deloitte highlights that veterans are well-placed to meet critical gaps in cross-functional skills, which include strategic management, managing or motivating staff, team-working and positive attitude.
Want to find out why you should employ this ready-made source of top talent? Read the business case from Capitalising on military talent: How to develop an Armed Forces friendly recruitment practice.